The COO of Reboot, Shane Hankins, speaks about the national day of Unplugging during chapel on Feb. 17. Hankins continued to explain how he turns off all of his notifications because he’d rather be present in conversation with the people he’s with rather than distracted by his phone. “Most of the things people are sending me are things that can wait,” said Hankins.

Bethel Unplugged

Shane Hankins, the COO of Reboot, came to Chapel at Bethel University last Friday to promote the National of Day of Unplugging which he helped to create. Many Bethel students are connecting with this movement to unplug.

By Brianna Shaw and Alayna Hoy

The COO of Reboot, Shane Hankins, gestures towards his slide on the big screen in the Benson Great Hall while he speaks about the national day of Unplugging during chapel on Feb. 17.

Electronic devices create a nearly constant stream of bombardments consisting of text message, email, push notification and news update. Shane Hankins, the COO of Reboot, and his colleagues dreamed up a day where all of these digital distractions cease to exist. Hankins spoke at Bethel’s Chapel last Friday about their upcoming National Day of Unplugging, and why Bethel should get involved.

National Day of Unplugging advocator, Shane Hankins, speaks about the importance of Unplugging during chapel on Feb. 17. This holiday is a 24-hour period that began March 3. “It’s recognizing there’s kind of like a hierarchy of relationships and a hierarchy of social interaction,” said Hankins.
“43 percent of Americans never unplug, including when they sleep.”

“43 percent of Americans never unplug, including when they sleep,” Hankins said. “What we’re saying is not that you should never use technology, but that we need to be more mindful about its use and also create spaces and times when you are not connected to those digital things.”

Reboot is a nonprofit movement with a mission to help people modernize, adapt and implement traditional Jewish beliefs and practices in an enriching way. According to Hankins, “The National Day of Unplugging developed as sort of a marketing hook for our Sabbath manifesto. We were incredibly surprised by its level of success.”

Several design students were approached by design professor Jessie Henderson to help run tables in the Brushaber Commons to raise awareness, distribute stickers and sell T-shirts in preparation for the National Day of Unplugging at Bethel.

Graphic design majors Lauren Williamson and Jackie Minke sit at a table advocating for National Day of Unplugging in Brushaber Commons on Feb. 17. Williamson planned on “unplugging” for at least two hours on the national holiday. “In high school I barely used social media,” said Williamson. “But once you start giving into it, it just takes more and more over your life.”

“We’re encouraging people to unplug for the whole day” design student Jackie Minke said. If that’s something students can’t commit to, they are encouraged to schedule a time to disconnect from their devices for an hour or two.

“It will help you notice things around you more, instead of just staring at your phone.”

“I think the second you step away from [technology], you’ll realize how much it’s taking over your life,” Minke said. “It will make you speak more face-to-face with people instead of relying on text and email and it will help you notice things around you more, instead of just staring at your phone.”

National Day of Unplugging advocator, Shane Hankins, emphasizes the importance of unplugging during chapel on Feb. 17. National Day of Unplugging is a project of Reboot, which Hankins is the COO of. “The most important thing about unplugging to me is about reconnecting with relationships and people,” said Hankins.

Bethel students will be encouraged to participate in the National Day of Unplugging on Friday, March 3 by mindfully disconnecting from their electronic devices.